Hutt at Heart
Handlebars of a bike overlooking a body of water

If you’ve got wheels, just do it

The Aotearoa Bike Challenge is a fun, free workplace competition to get people to ride a bike for 10 minutes or more. To celebrate its return we interviewed a Hutt City Council cycling veteran about the challenge and what inspires him to ride.

Shane O’Connor, Hutt City Libraries Technology Portfolio Manager, has been cycling since he was 6 years old and participating in and promoting the Aotearoa Bike Challenge for the last four years.

“The challenge is a fantastic incentive to ride. I already use my bike to commute, but it helps me to get to know other cyclists from other areas of Council – people I wouldn’t normally meet.”

As a mountain bike rider since the age of 18, Shane started commuting by bike over ten years ago after selling the second family car and hasn’t looked back.

“I enjoy commuting by bike – it’s efficient and it’s cheaper. Most days I use my commuter bike for the 11km to work and home again, but some days I’ll ride my trail bike and take a detour to hit some of my favourite mountain biking trails at Wainuiomata Trail Project. I love the freedom of riding, and the fact that I can go further and faster than on foot.”

Shane next to the Superplus sign. Super Plus is a fast down hill trail from the top of the Wainuiomata hill into Lower Hutt.
Superplus is a fast down hill trail from the top of the Wainuiomata hill into Lower Hutt.

Shane predominantly commutes on the Hutt River Trail and is looking forward to being able to ride the new cycleways and shared paths once they’re complete.

“Cycling in Lower Hutt keeps getting better. As a regular user of trails I’m excited to see new cycle options like the Wainuiomata Shared Path and the Beltway taking shape. I prefer not to ride on the road so the more off-road options the better.”

Shane standing with his bike
Shane and his commuter bike

As a top encourager for the Aotearoa Bike Challenge, Shane often finds himself promoting cycling to people who would like to cycle but are tentative.

“I often tell people that if they haven’t experienced cycling before, they’re missing out and the Aotearoa Bike Challenge is a fantastic place to start. The challenge introduces people to support, heightens awareness of cycling and there’s no pressure – if you do ten minutes and it’s not for you, that’s okay!”

The Aotearoa Bike Challenge runs on a points system. You and your team earn points for every km you ride, every day you ride, and for every person you encourage to sign-up. With great prizes for the leaderboard categories, for encouraging other to ride or logging trips it’s worth entering.  Registrations are open now at lovetoride.net

“See what you’re missing out on!”

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